If a survey went around asking general hip-hop fans who some of the biggest duos and groups in hip-hop are right now, most answers would be pretty similar. Rae Sremmurd and Migos would be typical answers for a majority of people, but a duo that should also be mentioned is the $uicideboy$.
The duo from New Orleans, made up of $lick and Ruby Da Cherry, are one of the fastest growing acts in hip-hop right now. They’ve built a rabid fan base that flocks to anything they do or drop. Their SoundCloud is insane, with multiple projects and songs that have millions of plays. For their last three projects, Eternal Grey, Radical $uicide and Grey Sheep 2, each song has over 1.5 million plays on SoundCloud.
Their most recently released song, “You’re Now Tuning in to 66.6 FM with DJ Rapture (The Hottest Hour of the Evening),” which premiered on XXL last week, hit a million plays in under a week. The views on their videos are also insane with quite a few hitting the seven-digit range. But why aren’t people talking about them more? For right now, $uicideboy$’ only focus is making great music.
“We got a lot of stuff this year,” Ruby Da Cherry tells XXL while in New York City. “We’re doing a tour in Asia, Europe, Australia, Canada. We’re doing a bunch of different, shorter projects; just touching different genres. We’re going to be doing a punk EP with live instruments that we write and record ourselves. We don’t like being put in a box. Even though in the core its rap music, we can do so much other stuff.”
$lick adds, “Our debut album, I Don’t Want to Die in New Orleans, is coming out in December.”
Before their international tour kicks off and they hit the Lollapalooza stage at Chicago’s Grant Park in August, get to know $uicideboy$ here on The Break.
Age: Ruby Da Cherry, 26; $lick, 27
Hometown: New Orleans
I grew up listening to: $lick: “I was always into rap. I got introduced to Three 6 Mafia when I was 8 when I was riding with my uncle. He played U.N.L.V.’s ‘Drag Em ‘N the River,’ Three 6 Mafia’s ‘Slob on My Knob’ and ‘Tear da Club Up’ and after I heard that I got obsessed. And besides that it was Cash Money, No Limit, you know the hometown heroes. Then when the Waka Flocka Flame age came in I got obsessed with that and Gucci too.”
Ruby Da Cherry: “Our moms are sisters so we were both raised on Cash Money really, ‘Tha Block Is Hot,’ Big Tymers’ records, Juvenile. Then as I got older I wasn’t allowed to listen to rap anymore because apparently it influenced me in a bad way and then I got into punk rock, which was so much better. [Laughs] It was actually even worse.
“I listened to a lot of Misfits, Leftover Crack, Slayer and then from there I got back into rap when Lil Wayne started poppin’ again. I wasn’t feeling Tha Carter but then he came out with Tha Carter II and then the mixtapes. Then I got subwoofers in my car and I was like it’s back to rap. I was listening to some Curren$y, some Souls of Mischief, some Pharcyde, OutKast is my favorite group ever. I took it back and tried to dig deep for old New York shit, old West Coast shit. $lick shed the light on me as far as new school rap goes.”
$lick: “I made that transition because of the production. I got obsessed with Shawty Redd, who I claimed is the pioneer of the shit now. ”
Ruby: “We missed [saying] one, who is our biggest role model, Kanye West.”
$lick: “Late Registration made me want to become a producer”
Ruby: “The College Dropout made me think that rap still has a chance. I started making music when I was 7 I started playing the violin. Then I moved to drums when I was 10 then I picked up playing in bands when I was 13. I played the guitar, piano and bass. I was playing in punk bands, metal bands, emo bands until we started $uicideBoy$. $uicideBoy$ is so much less stressful than bands.
“When I was in bands I was the person that was kind of leading the group, I book the shows, I make the design for the T-shirts, I write the songs and they would just follow my lead but still try to question my thinking. I’m saying I know everything but I had experience. When [me and $lick] linked up we were both listening to each other ideas and it was way easier, so I said fuck bands and just ran with this.”
$lick: “I started DJ’ing at age 14. My parents bought me this cheap ass $99 turntable set. You had to press the button to put the CD in [laughs], But when I upgraded my equipment, I started getting residencies at different clubs and shit. At 19, I got super obsessed with T-Pain, I never heard Auto-Tune before. I seen the interview where he was talking about how he made ‘I’m Sprung’ and ‘I’m in Love With a Stripper’ with GarageBand with all pre-set sounds, made the beat, did the vocals then mixed it later.
“That night—I was selling pills at the time so I had a stack of money—I went to Best Buy and got me a laptop. I still have the same white laptop till this day. I started making beats on GarageBand, shitty as fuck. Then I just kept making beats and you know, I had to get a job to pay the bills. Did that for three years and got fired for getting my hands tattooed and that’s when Ruby and I linked up. At that point it was a crucial turning point in our lives.”
Ruby: “We were both ready to give up. This was 2013. I just graduated college and for a graduation present my parents helped me pay for T3I [camera], which is like $600. I had dabbled in video editing but I didn’t know how to do it too well so I used [$lick] as my guinea pig. He was making mixtapes for fun and beats for other artists because he was signed to a label for that as an in-house producer.
“He would make projects on the side for fun and I really fucked with it. I could see the progression. So one day I called him and was like, ‘Yo, this one track off your mixtape is hot as fuck, let me come shoot a video for it and get some practice and I’ll put it out there for you.’ Sure enough we made the video and it was fire for our first video. We put it out there but after we did that we were like, ‘That’s so fucking fun. Let’s do that again.’
“And we started shooting more and more and at this time I was started to get confident about rapping. I rapped but was so self-conscious about it that I never wanted to release anything. I always had to work with people inside groups because I was so self-conscious to stand on my two feet because I didn’t believe in myself. Long story short, I finally told him, ‘Can you record me?’ He did and I liked the way it came out. He featured me on one of his songs and it just sounded so good, the both of us together and we started the group.”
My style’s been compared to: Ruby: “Not too much anymore but when we were coming up, the main artists that we always got compared to—and till this day we haven’t listened to their music, no offense I think they are great—was Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. We’re way bigger Three 6 Mafia fans. The triplets style.”
Slick: “As far as style, we never want to put ourselves in a box ever.”
Most people don’t know: Ruby: “I’m a huge nerd. I collect action figures, I have like 700 collection of DVDs. I’m a huge movie buff. I’m a huge comic book nerd. Star Wars nerd; I have like a shrine of like old vintage Star Wars stuff. I’m a big Batman fan.”
$lick: “I was a straightedge kid but I was still a savage. I was running drugs on my bike when I was 13 for this neighborhood dope dealer. One night, I was dropping a package off like I usually do, when all the lights shut off and two people came from behind me with one having a shank. One had a razor—the kind you push up and shanked me at my side. They took all the dudes dope. I got two letters when I was a kid for playing ball. I thought I was going to be a ball player, never thought I would be a rapper. I got a letter from the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Florida Marlins. I played shortstop.”
Ruby: “Another fun fact is whenever we used to hang out together and we get in trouble with our parents, especially $lick’s parents, we pissed inside a Coke bottle and put it in the fridge and hope that his dad would drink it.”
$lick: “My dad would drink Coca-Cola every night [laughs].”
Ruby: “We’re saying with our little tiny dicks at 8 years old we would piss in a Coke bottle because that’s the way that works.”
$lick: “My dad woke me up in the middle of the night and beat the fuck out of me [laughs].”
Ruby: “Fun fact I’m the only kid out of my peer group that smoked crack just for fun. I smoked crack on a Friday and was like this is pretty fire. I smoke crack on Saturday and was like this is crazy then I smoke crack on a Sunday and said I’m never doing this again [laughs]. Just kidding, mom.”
$lick: “I remember when you told me that on [AOL’s] AIM.”
My standout records/moment to date have been: $lick: “For me, the moment was selling out The Novo in L.A. and performed in front of 2,500 people. And also getting to where we’re at without any fucking help, besides Pouya.”
Ruby: “My favorite record, and the record that means the most to us it ‘Low Key’ because I’ll just say this we both fucked up and did something we weren’t supposed to do and were feeling really bad in the studio and we made this crazy song. I think that’s probably the most vulnerable and the most emotional song we’ve ever made.
“As far as moments, one was when we went on our first tour that we booked ourselves, which was at the end of 2015. The first show was San Antonio. We played there a couple of months ago and there was like 70 kids in there. We go back, I’m thinking we’ll have 150. They go inside and I go back to the car to change clothes. I hear the song start, ‘Paris,’ and I’m like, ‘Fuck.’ I’m running up to the venue and the door guy like $5 and I’m like, ‘Yo, I’m playing. I’m supposed to be up there.” He doesn’t believe me and I run past him into the crowd. I’m pushing in and finally I run onstage and literally after $lick finishes his verse he hands me the mic and it goes fucking nuts.”
My goal in hip-hop is: Ruby: “To be the biggest artists of all-time.”
$lick: “To have a cultural influence. Non-egotistically, we feel like we do and we see that already.”
Ruby: “Not saying we’re the best artists of all-time already but we feel like music lost its balls. You think about The Doors, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Public Enemy, N.W.A, there’s nobody pushing the boundaries anymore. There are nobody standing up for anything anymore. It’s all, ‘I got a diamond chain and I fuck your bitch.’ That’s fucked up. Why don’t we say some shit that will better the world instead of fight each other over materialistic bullshit?”
I’m going to be the next: $lick: “Kanye West. To have ‘Ye’s cultural influence and still be able help others. Ultimately, I can sleep good at night to know that I helped [a number] of people.”
Ruby: “We just want to make a footprint in the world because when you die and dead and gone, you want to be remembered. That’s how you live on.”
This article can be found on xxlmag.com